August 1, 2019

Short & Sweet: An Anonymous Girl and The Wife Between Us

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

I polished this one off in a day! I was pulled in right from the get-go and then by the end couldn't put it down. A compelling, gripping psychological thriller where you're not sure who to trust and the truth is continually being questioned. I really enjoyed the themes of social psychology and ethics/morality woven throughout. The style of switching between Jessica's and Dr. Shields' perspectives was excellently done; their voices were distinct and Dr. Shields' chapters in particular were written in a clinical, 2nd-person/distant-1st-person that worked really well to convey her unsettling personality. I felt a little mixed about the ending; I thought that one part of it was very fitting in a thematic and storytelling sense, whereas another part kind of took me aback. Spoilers, highlight to read: the fact that Dr. Shields committed suicide by taking Vicodin felt like it made sense from a storytelling perspective. However, I'm not entirely sure how the reader is expected to respond to how Jessica behaves in the last conversation she has with Thomas. She's been the character the reader has been rooting for, so I felt a little upset with having her essentially blackmail Thomas. It certainly drives home the point that no one is 100% "good".

4.5 shooting stars.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Good, but not as gripping or cleverly plotted as the other book I read by this writing duo, An Anonymous Girl. I guessed at one of the big twists early on, and just generally I'd say this one was fairly predictable. Towards the end it does get pretty hard to put down, though! The villain in this one is so despicable that it is very easy to root for another character (being deliberately vague here so as not to spoil, lol). And there was a reveal right at the end that I didn't see coming! Also, a very weird relationship dynamic that is hinted at but not fully explained left me still with questions... Spoilers, highlight to read: what was up with Maureen? What kind of twisted brother-sister relationship do they have? Creeeeeeeepy...

3.5 shooting stars.

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